Blog, Ingredients

Chestnut flour: a hero product for gluten and sugar free diets

chestnut flour

My mum has been an amazing support while I’ve been on this diet, and has often surprised me with a bag of goodies that we can cook with that I have never tried before. It’s actually been a great way to turn what some would perceive as a relatively boring diet, into something quite fun! I love to cook, so exerimenting with new ingredients and recipes has been a welcome consolation after my usual repertoire of signature dishes was culled.

My mum recently went to France to visit family, and brought back with her a few bags of chestnut flour from a health food shop. Although mine was brought all the way from France, you can also buy chestnut flour in England, so you don’t need to worry about missing out!

Chestnut flour (made from ground, dry roasted chestnuts) is a great alternative to wheat flour as it is gluten-free. Chestnuts also have a natural sweetness to them, so the flour is perfect for sugar-free baking.

What can you do with chestnut flour?

As with other flours, chestnut flour can be used to make a number of baked goods such as:

  • Crèpes
  • Pancakes
  • Loafs
  • Cakes
  • Muffins

My personal favourite is this spiced chestnut loaf recipe.

Good to know

I have listed below the macros in chestnut flour below (values are in 100g):

  • Energy = 373 kcal
  • Fats = 3.8g
  • of which saturates = 0.7g
  • Carbohydrates = 74.3g
  • Of which sugars = 29.5g
  • Fibre = 9g
  • Protein = 6g
  • Salt = < 0.03g

As you can see, because this is a food high in carbohydrates, it would not be suitable if you were following a very low carb diet such as the keto diet for example, and I would also avoid this food if you are in the early stages of an anti-candida diet, however, if you are simply looking for a nice gluten-free flour alternative, it is great. The best thing is, you can make a cake using this flour without any other sugar added (natural or otherwise) and the result will still be somewhat sweet. Which is not something you can say for regular wheat flour (have you ever made a cake and forgotten to add the sugar? Not good!).

As well as being gluten free, you also benefit from all of the added health benefits of chestnuts (I won’t list them but you can easily google these yourself, or read about them here).

Now that I am around 3 and a half months into my diet, I will incorporate chestnut flour into my diet, but I like to use it more as a treat that I would eat infrequently and in small quantities, rather than as a staple food.

Let me know if you’ve cooked with chestnut flour before and what your favourite recipes are!

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